Is there hope for this Chicago Bears Running back?

Chicago Bears - Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears - Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Chicago Bears claimed Darrynton Evans off of waivers, a move that was made before the 2022 NFL draft. While Trestan Ebner will compete with Evans, Evans currently sits as the number three running back behind David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert.

Neither of those backs was considered pass-catching options, so this does open a legitimate role for Evans. Evans was a third-round pick as recently as 2020, so there is more upside from him than your typical waiver wire running back.

Did the Chicago Bears find a steal in Darrynton Evans?

The big issue for Darrynton Evans is injuries. First, it was a hamstring, then it was a knee. All-in-all Evans wound up being active in just six career games. He has 16 carries for 61 yards along with four catches for 48 yards in his two seasons.

If there are running backs with that little production through their first two seasons, they probably are not players drafted in the first three rounds of the draft.

In fact, since 2000 only five running backs drafted in round three or higher have as few or fewer carries as Darrynton Evans. Those running backs are Isaiah Pead, Tony Hunt, Brian Calhoun, and Eric Shelton.

This is not the group that Evans wants to be associated with. Pead was the best of the group, and he managed to play just two more seasons after his first two.

The reality is that injuries are hard to come back from, and when they compound on top of each other it gets even harder. Darrynton Evans was a strong prospect, but after missing his rookie season he was so far behind. In trying to make up ground another injury put him even further behind.

Now, he is a couple of years behind and never really was able to climb over the rookie wall. The Chicago Bears are smart to take a shot on Darrynton Evans, the cost is nearly nothing. The upside of a third-round pick with blazing speed, and pass-catching ability is there.

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However, we also have to realize that after two season-ending injuries and being released by the team that drafted him that he would be setting a new precedent by overcoming these obstacles and being a productive NFL asset.